Fire breaks out on cruise ship in Ionian Sea

Police said three tug boats and three patrol boats had been sent to help passengers off the Euroferry Olympia. PHOTO: VESSELFINDER.COM

ATHENS (REUTERS) - A fire broke out on a ferry sailing from Greece to Italy on Friday (Feb 18) with 288 people on board, and there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, the Greek coast guard said.

The Italian-flagged Euroferry Olympia had sailed from Igoumenitsa, the largest port in western Greece, and was headed to the Italian port of Brindisi, about nine hours away.

The fire, the cause of which was not immediately known, broke out near the island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea.

A video uploaded on Greek news website Proto Thema showed a ferry engulfed in flames and huge plumes of smoke. “May Day” was blasting from speakers.

The coast guard said 237 passengers and 51 crew members were on board, and at least three coast guard vessels were involved in the rescue operation.

The passengers and crew, who evacuated on lifeboats, were being taken to Corfu, authorities said. Weather conditions in the area were mild.

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